Our high-impact research analyzes biological and agricultural systems for the sustainable management and preservation of our natural resources. Biological and agricultural engineers find ways to preserve and protect our natural environment while sustaining food and fiber production, clean water and air, and sustainable energy production and management.

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We develop innovative and beneficial engineering systems and solutions implemented in North Carolina and the world.

  Bioprocess Engineering

Bioprocess Engineering focuses on the alteration or application of renewable materials to generate value-added products including fuels, food, feed, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and a multitude of value-added biomaterials.

Areas of interest include:

  • Carbon capture, sequestration and utilization
  • Conversion of biomass into biofuels and bioproducts
  • Pharmaceutical / nutraceuticals
  • Fermentation and product separation technologies
  • Processing, handling and storage of biological products
  • Industrial enzymatic reactions
  • Sensor and computer technologies for the development of process control systems
  • Modeling of biological materials
  • Bioremediation for environmental preservation

barn icon Controlled Environments for Agriculture

Engineers working in controlled environments apply engineering principles and technology to food and fiber production inside structures.

Areas of interest are:

  • Aquaculture Engineering
  • Agricultural Air Quality
  • Post Harvest Processes

 Data Analytics and Integrated Modeling

Engineers working in the area of data analytics and integrated modeling apply data intensive but management-focused approaches to biological and natural systems, especially at the convergence of food, agriculture, and natural resources. Engineers in this field are uniquely positioned to apply innovative data analytics and computing techniques to real world problems utilizing their understanding of the processes and mechanisms underlying these situations. Their analyses span local, national and global scales to provide groundbreaking and unique solutions to current and future challenges facing biological and natural systems.

Areas of interest for engineers in data analytics and integrated modeling are:

  • Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Socio-Environmental Systems
  • Identifying Risks to Food, Water, and Energy Systems
  • Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems
  • Technical-Economic Assessment
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Systems and Processes Optimization

ecological icon Ecological Engineering

Ecological engineers apply engineering principles to design ecosystems for the mutual benefit of humans and nature. Research includes the design, monitoring, and restoration of ecosystems.

Areas of interest are:

  • Stream and River Restoration
  • Habitat Reconstruction
  • Bioengineering
  • Ecology Conservation, Wetland Protection and Restoration
  • Green Infrastructure

 Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers apply engineering principles, biology, chemistry, and soil science to develop solutions to environmental problems and improve environmental quality. The discipline uses knowledge of soil, water, and air systems to engineer solutions from field to watershed scales.

Areas of interest to environmental engineers are:

  • Water and air pollution control
  • Environmental restoration and protection
  • Irrigation and Drainage
  • Liquid and solid waste management
  • Low Impact Development
  • Stormwater Management
  • Water resource engineering
  • Bioremediation
  • Water and wastewater treatment
  • Public health & water quality
  • Land management
  • Environmental policy and law
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics
  • Fluvial Hydraulics and Sediment Transport

tractor icon Machine Systems & Precision Agriculture

Machine System engineers apply engineering principles for the design and improvement of agricultural machine systems with state-of-the-art technologies that enhance production with consideration for resource management, the environment, worker safety and usability.

Areas of interest are:

  • Decision Support Systems
  • GPS and Remote Sensing Systems
  • Precision Agriculture and Smart Machinery
  • Machine Systems and Robotics

recycle soil and water icon Sustainable Waste Management

Sustainable waste management engineering applies enginering principles to develop sustainable approaches for handling solid and liquid waste through waste minimization, recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, gasification or pyrolysis.

Areas of interest are:

  • Animal Waste Management Systems
  • Wastewater and Solids Waste Treatment
  • Animal Nutrient Management
  • Waste utilization
  • Livestock Air Quality and Odors
  • Land Application Systems
  • Animal Emergency Management